Tuesday, May 29, 2007

blog security

A few people have asked me why I don’t post names or pictures on this blog; after all, my three boys are so stinkin’ cute it’s not even funny, and their photos would make a lively addition to these posts. For a long time, my answer to this question was, “I don’t know. I’m just not comfortable with it.” The name thing is easier to explain. After all, I don’t want someone to read this blog, notice my husband travels a lot and I’m home with these three adorable boys and lots of computer equipment, and google my name and learn all sorts of things about me. (My address, for instance. Well, unless they want to help with the laundry. In that case, come on over!)

Now, my mother-in-law and my grandma are probably reading this and nodding their heads, “Yes! This makes good sense! You’ve already said too much, what with that tube-top post and all!” And a few of you are reading and thinking, “Oh, come on. Get over yourself already. It’s a Mom blog. Everyone is doing it!” True. And I don’t think poorly of anyone who does post their name or pictures of their adorable children. I really don’t. I just won’t be doing it. Two little words have solidified my anonymous stance on this blog: site meter.

I added a google site meter a few months ago out of curiosity. Who reads my blog, anyway? A handful of far-flung family and friends, a few friends of friends, and a few people I’ve never met, but have common interests. And then there are the google searches. With the name “llama momma,” I get hits from people looking for the feeding habits of llamas, the spitting habits of llamas, and everything in between. My post about emotions gets quite a bit of traffic from people searching for information about flying with children and googling, “can I take formula on the plane” and “flying with a baby on my lap.” I always feel like I’ve performed some great public service when people read that post. I should edit it to add: “Do not do it. Do not get on the plane with that baby. It’s just too hard.”

And then there are the other google searches. (Forgive the asterisks, please. These are words I have eliminated from my blog writing, due to these google searches.) d*irty llama poem; n*aked boys; and the one that sends chills down my spine: cute little boys. It scares me that people would troll Mom blogs looking for pictures of children; and while I pray for these people to find freedom from their perversion, I do not want them looking at pictures of my sweet boys.

I do not live in fear, and I don’t think I’m being overly cautious. Much of my writing is about my kids, and while I’d love to show them off to you—my known reader—my first obligation is to protect them from harm.

Speaking of protecting kids from harm, we now live in a gated community. Baby b. was not happy to see those baby gates go up, but it was time!

8 comments:

Frazzmom said...

A wise mom protects her children...

spaghettipie said...

I think it is totally fine and up to you how much you want to reveal on your own site. I hope someone wasn't giving you a hard time about it!

Llama Momma said...

SP -- nobody has given me a hard time, but I've had a few people ask. And, to be honest, I haven't had a good answer until now. So, this post is as much for me as for them!

L.L. Barkat said...

Sounds fine to me!

On the cute little boys search, I don't know that it is always as ominous as it sounds. I could see people searching so they can either use them on their own blogs or use them in advertising (free photos!). Not that this would thrill us either.

Craver Vii said...

As an experiment, I tried this:
n*k*d 40+ hispanic male w/spare tire.

I got nothing. (sigh)

clc said...

my way of solving the problem was by making my blog unsearchable. the only thing you can search to get to my blog is my name. everything else is blocked. that's why i put names and pictures. just a different way to deal with the same concern.

Emily said...

I originally had set up the password on my blog for work purposes, but when renewal time came and I had to pay my yearly subscription fee (yes I pay!) I was sure that I was going to keep doing it now that there are so many pictures etc. of my baby on my blog. I have also requested that my MIL not post pictures of her on her blog which is not password protected.

Llama Momma said...

Okay, Craver, you're cracking me up!!

CLC - I want to know more! So, your blog is unsearchable?? I have lots of computers, but am not very techno-savy. I will ask you about this sometime...

emily - these precious babies change everything, don't they? Things I never would have thought of before -- pictures on a blog -- suddenly take on importance as we think through the potential of it.

One of the scariest things I've read on internet security discussed the reality of people swiping pictures of kids and photoshopping them to make them naughty. I hate even thinking about this stuff, but at the same time, if I'm going to engage in this medium of communication, I have to think about this stuff. It's just a reality of the world we live in.